[ yoos-lis ]
/ ˈyus lɪs /


of no use; not serving the purpose or any purpose; unavailing or futile: It is useless to reason with him.
without useful qualities; of no practical good: a useless person; a useless gadget.

Nearby words

  1. usecc,
  2. used,
  3. used to,
  4. useful,
  5. usefully,
  6. uselessly,
  7. usenet,
  8. user,
  9. user experience,
  10. user group

Origin of useless

First recorded in 1585–95; use + -less

1. fruitless, profitless, valueless, worthless, inutile. Useless, futile, ineffectual, vain refer to that which is unavailing. That is useless which is unavailing because of the circumstances of the case or some inherent defect: It is useless to cry over spilt milk. Futile suggests wasted effort and complete failure to attain a desired end: All attempts were futile. That which is ineffectual weakly applies energy in an ill-advised way and does not produce a desired effect: an ineffectual effort. That which is vain is fruitless or hopeless even after all possible effort: It is vain to keep on hoping. 2. unserviceable, unusable.

Related formsuse·less·ly, adverbuse·less·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for useless

British Dictionary definitions for useless


/ (ˈjuːslɪs) /


having no practical use or advantage
informal ineffectual, weak, or stupidhe's useless at history
Derived Formsuselessly, adverbuselessness, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for useless



1590s, from use (n.) + -less. Related: Uselessly; uselessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper